Wednesday, 18 November 2009


It is the Mrs’s birthday today and for once the celebration has taken a back seat. It is not intentional of course but having 3 kids plus my busy schedule we have no choice but to have a quiet celebration this time. I will certainly try my best to make it up one way or another.

We do not celebrate it lavishly each year but at the very least we do go out for a nice dinner at a nicer restaurant. Up to a few years ago I would even pay attention to what she lacked or liked for months leading up to her birthday and then I would buy them and surprised her during dinner. These were limited to tech gadgets which I am definitely more familiar then her and as a result I have been rather successful during those years.

However once the idea in that department has run its course (how many cameras, laptops and handphones etc can one buy as gifts for their wives right) I reverted back to letting her pick her own presents. I have always said that she is picky when it comes to her purchases. Even today after being married for 10 years I dare not go out and buy something, be it jewelleries, handbags, shoes or clothes, as a surprise birthday present.

She is particular about colours, materials, size, shapes etc. With all these considerations I believe most guys will agree with me that it is perhaps better for her to pick what she likes and I simply foot the bill. Sure it may not be as romantic but something’s gotta give right? The idea of receiving a surprise present may be romantic but in reality I’m afraid it is often overrated and short lived, right up to the point of unwrapping the gift of course.

Fortunately and unfortunately at the same time, the price tag does not equate to whether she will like the gift or not. Take diamonds for example, most ladies certainly like them but that doesn’t mean that by splashing out 5 figures on it will guarantee the end result. While the price may cover the basics such as carat, clarity, cut, colour and certificate, the final hurdle of design is often still a gamble. The number of claws on that ring may have a direct effect of whether she leaves her own claw marks on you and also where specifically.

To those of you who are newly wed or have no kids yet, just when you think that selecting your own present is as unromantic as it gets, you will realize that you really haven’t got a clue until you add a couple of kids in the mix.

While I am still up for going out for some fine dining her heart is always with the kids. Throw in the fact that we have to trouble my parents to help care for the kids, going out and enjoying ourselves does not seem so nice all of a sudden.

With the heavy workload that both of us face, we really cherish whatever remaining time we have with the kids each evening and by the time they sleep we are mentally drained ourselves. Weekends are even more precious for these are the only 2 days each week that we actually get to spend more than a few hours with the children. We will usually go out and buy whatever we need to buy for the children so our own shopping has taken a lesser priority.

Till today the Mrs has not identified her gift yet and plus the fact that tonight is my first day of attending a course we cannot have our dinner out even if we wanted to. So this is the first time we are not celebrating her birthday.

There is one saving grace though or at least I would like to think so. I have been sending her flowers on her birthday and our wedding anniversary for the longest time despite her telling me not to and this year is no exception. While completing this post is she has already MMS me the photo of the bouquet.

A bouquet of white lilies!

Even though we are not celebrating her birthday this year I would like to state for the record that it does not mean that I do not think it is any less important. It is largely down to my own poor time management and planning but I promise I will do a much better job next year.

With the kids growing up I imagine that with each year the celebrations can only get more enjoyable and better.

Happy Birthday My Love!


Nicole said...

I don't know if it's just you and my hubby or ALL hubbies are like that, but my hubby don't like to buy gifts for me as well! Even though I have often deem him as UNromantic and thoughtful, the answer he will always shot back is" whatever that I buy for you, no matter how ex it is, you will not like it so I'll rather let you choose and just foot the bill"...It's as good as telling me that I'm very particular or fussy but he's true. It did seems that whatever gifts he bought, no matter the price, I will usually have fault with it...haha... so it's not that bad idea that we get to choose what we like after all...

Happie birthday to your mrs! It's nice to receive the bouquet of flowers from you, no matter that she asked you not to buy (but ya, I find flowers kinda impractical myself, so expensive and what am I supposed to do with the flowers after that???)

Having a kiss from the kids sounds just as nice. :)

olivia said...

Our sentiments exactly.
One birthday he bought me a necklace with a pendant tt says "MOM". Not my cup of tea. I don't want everyone to know I'm a mom. But I kept quiet. And he's now quite practical too. He usually gives me a gift card so that I can buy whatever I want. And usually I spend it on the family or kids.
As for flowers, instead of a bouquet, it now comes in a pot. hahahaha. So we can transplant it onto the flowerbed.
And I do agree with you tt as the kids grow older, we'll be able to celebrate our birthdays and other special occasions more meaningfully. And I suppose by then, we'll be able to go out and eat at nicer restaurants too (without them making too much noise) and splattering food around. :)
Happy Birthday to your Mrs. :)

Aces Family said...

Hi Dylan,

A happy belated birthday to your Mrs and the bouquet is so lovely.

Honestly, i had not been receiving any presents from hub since donkey years but we do have family dinner or a cake to celebrate the day.

Present or not, i guess it's the thought that matters!


missmoon said...

Aaaww, so sweet! and rather romantic. Let's see it this way, gifting flowers will always remain one of the most romantic gestures, no matter what despite the fact that flowers wilt and die away. And it is for a practical reason why you'd rather she chose her own present, since she's ultimately the one to use it. i'm exactly in this category too.

Priorities shift as we progress in life, but yeah, no less important despite that 'permanent' shift to the backburner. heh.

happy belated birthday to the Mrs!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

I can’t say all hubbies are like us but most of the husbands that I know are like us. I guess this is us being practical and we want to make sure the wives like the presents. Now I wonder if all wives are the same or we husbands just don’t know how to pick the presents for them.

Thanks for your well wishes. About the flowers, I will always agree with her when she reminds me every year not to waste such money but in the end I will still proceed to send. We all know they will wither but in the mean time just display it and enjoy the sight and fragrance.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Olivia,

So both of you are getting practical. He for getting you gift cards to buy whatever you want while you for using the gift cards to buy things for the family instead of yourself. I think this is the natural process for things as times go by.

You will need a garden if he continues to buy you potted flowers or do you have one already?

Right now I can only imagine how much joy the kids will bring by celebrating such occasions with them. The little presents that they hand make for their mummy. The kisses the give, the breakfast and dinner that they will prepare. Nice!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Astee,

Thanks on the Mrs’s behalf.

It is of course the thought that matters. For example there is no point in having the secretary pick out the present and reminding him of the important day.

Having said that I think it is still good for you two to exchange presents on birthdays and anniversaries. I firmly these are little things that will keep a relationship go a long way. I will probably celebrate these occasions with the kids once and then have a separate celebration where there is just the 2 of us.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cynthia,

Aaaawwww. Thanks! Not many have called me a romantic! Hahaha!

The funny thing is I know she enjoys receiving the flowers and yet she will always make me promise I will not send every year but I will then turn around and break my promise and send the flowers still.

Lucky thing is she doesn’t mind picking her own present. So it is a win-win situation for everyone.

I totally agree while priorities may have changed but occasions are not less important.

happyhour said...

Hey Dylan
I think ALL husbands are the same ditto all wives are the same too… haha no right or wrong here
But at least you still send her flowers (this is definitely your saving grace)… to brighten the day. I would love to get flowers from my hb too once a while but erm… hmm the last time I got flowers from him was…. Hmm donkey years ago!

Wifey are like tat… mouth say don’t want flowers… but heart itchy for it la… haha well at least I know I am ONE of them! HB say use money go makan better wor… so unromantic…

Now with kids I guess one will celebrate the kids’ birthdays rather than the parents…

Happy Birthday MRS!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

Thanks for your well wishes on the Mrs’s behalf.

I’m beginning to understand that this is perhaps the local phenomenon where the wives will pick their own gifts. No wonder some of the local women prefers the foreigners for they are more romantic. I bet they surprise their spouses with the gifts.

I think flowers are the minimum here and it honestly does not cost much. I think most people have issue with it dying hence view it as a waste of money. The way I see it we at least enjoyed it for a good few days. Isaac is going “Waaaahhhhhhh” each morning when he sees it too! His reaction plus the Mrs’s is well worth the money already.

I’m sure I’ll celebrate the kids’ and the Mrs’s birthdays. Ironic enough I am not too big on celebrating my own birthday. It has always been a usual day and I always go back to work also.

happyhour said...

hey Dylan, u are exactly the same as my hb... all of our birthdays are celebrated "in style" but for him, it's just another day... no cake no nothing...

but i am not complaining... as long as my girls and i get all the attention on OUR birthdays... haha :)

The Bimbo said...

I completely agree that selecting our own presents is a lot more practical!! I even ask my good friends to select their own presents now... or I get them vouchers from their favourite stores. I still think practicality is more important. ;)

I'm sooooOoo envious when I see those lilies... For the last 4 years, my Love has been sending flowers to my workplace.. but they are ROSES! And when I ask him what MY favourite flowers are.. he replies.. lilies, which really makes me wonder why he sends me roses. *faints*

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mrs Tan!


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

I guess your husband and I both feel that the happiness of the family comes first and at the same time we do not want to be reminded of our age! Hahahaha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bobo,

Nice to hear from you again as I know you have been busy.

We guys have been living in the world where we do prefer to be more practical and I am really glad that you ladies are joining us now. It certainly seems like more and more ladies do prefer to have their own presents picked out themselves. It makes things so much easier for us guys.

Hmmm…. this is puzzling indeed. Knowing that you like lilies but send roses. Maybe he is reserving the lilies for really special occasion like when he pops the question?!?!?! Or he is secretly planning your wedding and it will be decorated with fresh white lilies.

The unromantic explanation will be he is allergic to lilies or the florist that he frequents had him convinced that roses should be the number one flower for girlfriends.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Charissa,

Thanks on the Mrs’s behalf!